Thursday, November 30, 2006

And then, the lighting of the tree.

Last evening the tree in Rockefeller Center was lit, and a big ceremony started at 7--the crowds were there by 3. Tina and I made our way over around 8, and really had no chance of seeing anything accept what we could make out from the giant TV screen about 100 feet in front of the massive crowd we had attached ourselves to. We were able to watch both Enya and Sarah McLaughlin sing--but not really hear them. It's a very touristy event, but since this is our first year in New York, we wanted to try and catch a glimpse of the ceremony and the tree--of course we saw neither. After making our way through the crowd maybe 25 feet--we both stood and watched the screen, both feeling rather annoyed.
This time of year New York moves to an even faster beat than usual. Tourists crowd the steets, vendors hawk anything and everything to unprepared passers-by.
One vendor last night was selling light up reindeer ears - not antlers, ears. "Get your reindeer ears here!," he would shout at the crowd.
One young hispanic family was standing next to us with their little girl. She kept eyeing the man selling the light-up ears and then looking back at her mom. She was too cute for her parents to resist, so as the man walked by they motioned for him to come over. The little girl's face lit up with a beaming smile. The dad dug through wallet trying to find the right amount of money, while his wife watched with hopes he had enough. He did. The family laughed while the little girl shook her head like she was a reindeer and danced around in the joy of the moment.
Something about watching this little girl, so happy because her dad had gotten her a pair of light-up reindeer ears, made the evening seem wonderful to me.
I realize this might be a trifle overdone, but it gave me a glimmer of hope, joy, and peace--really what this time of year is about. Although all the commercialism surrounding Christmas is annoying and frankly wrong, this little girl's face made me happy and thankful. I wish her a wonderful Christmas and I hope for her happiness.
It's very easy to become dismayed with the emptiness surrounding the way we've come to celebrate Christmas, but Christmas is about hope. And sometimes, just when we feel like we have to stretch for that hope -we find it in the face of a small child.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Caedmon's Hymn - (7th century AD) translated by Paul Muldoon

Now we must praise to the skies the keeper of the
heavenly kingdom,
The might of the measurer, all he has in mind,
The work of the Father of Glory, of all manner
of marvel,

Our eternal Master, the main mover.
It was he who first summoned up, on our behalf,
Heaven as a roof, the holy Maker.

Then this middle-earth, the Watcher over humankind,
Our eternal master, would later assign
The precinct of men, the Lord Almighty.

Isn't it obvious that Iraq is on the brink?

This NYTimes article is interesting. So, the president acknowledges that there are high levels of sectarian violence in Iraq, but he puts the blame for the disorder on Al Qaeda. Alright. But is anyone else buying this? Doesn't look like it. Even the generals aren't mentioning Al Qaeda as much or at all.

We hear Bush using more and more strong language when referring to Iran and Syrian. This worries me. Many in the Democratic party (Joe Biden's plan is wonderful - see a viable and probably very effective way of maintaining some sort of peace in the Middle East by involving those two very vocal and very important countries.

But when it becomes a question of liguistics, maybe we should worry--
"The question of whether the fighting constitutes a civil war has becoming an increasingly sensitive one for the Bush administration, as Democrats cite agreement among a wide range of academic and military experts that the conflict meets most standard definitions of the term."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey oh)

Awesome song.

Paul Tillich - The Dynamics of Faith

Faith and the Dynamics of the Holy -

"He who enters the sphere of faith enters the sanctuary of life. Where there is faith there is an awareness of holiness."

This section of the chapter called What Faith Is deals with the holy--and Tillich distinguishes between the popular usage of the word and what he says it the original and only justified meaning of holiness.

"What concerns one ultimately becomes holy. The awareness of the holy is awareness of the presence of the divine, namely of the content of our ultimate concern. This awareness is expressed in a grand way in the Old Testament from the visions of the patriarchs and Moses to the shaking experiences of the great prophets and psalmists. It is a presence which remains mysterious in spite of its appearance, and exercises both an attractive and a repulsive function on those who encounter it."

"This original and only justified meaning of holiness must replace the currently distorted use of the word. 'Holy' has become identified with moral perfection, especially in some Protestant groups."

I find myself agreeing with Tillich completely--I've never understood why Holiness has to do with morality--it always seemed to me more of an experience than a state of being. But why? And what does it matter?

It's as if the popular use of holy stems from the idolatrous or untrue aspect of religion (or as Tillich calls it, the demonic). True holiness should cause us to be in awe; untrue holiness keeps us pent up in fear. I see a great deal of this within the pious denominations --Wesleyan, Nazerene--a longing to reach holiness and not 'give in' to temptations. This misses the point or Faith and of experiencing the holy. There is a mysterious character of the holy which produces an ambiguity in man's ways of experiencing it--as with faith, there is a creative and destructive aspect to the holy. Tillich calls this ambuguity "divine demonic"--in the sense that divine is victory by the creative over the destructive and the demonic is vica v. This is where the shift in the use and understanding of the holy changed.

"In this situation, which is most profoundly understood in the prophetic religion of the Old Testament, a fight has been waged against the demonic-destructive element in the holy. And this fight was so successfull that the concept of the holy was changed. Holiness becomes justice and truth. It is creative and not destructive . The true sacrifice is obedience to the law. This is the line of thought which finally led to the identification of holiness with moral perfection. But when this point is reached, holiness loses its meaning as the 'separated', the 'transcending', the 'fascinating and terrifying', the 'entirely other'. All this is gone and the holy has become the morally good and the logically true. It has ceased to be the holy in the genuine sense of the word. Summing up this development, one could say that the holy originally lies below the alternative of the good and the evil; that it is both divine and demonic; that with the reduction of the demonic possibility the holy itself becomes transformed in its meaning; that it becomes rational and identical with the true and the good; and that its genuine meaning must be rediscovered. "

I find what Tillich calls the genuine and true meaning of the holy to be the more creative and more spiritual. For those of us who feel a certain disdain for organized religion at times, this is extremely encouraging. There is also, it seems, more room for play with this use of holy--more ability for a literary interpretation of the holy.

Blackberry-picking -- Seamus Heaney

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.

We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My reading.

For the past few months I was trudging through The Brothers Karamazov, and now that I've finished it at a snail's pace (This is one of my favorite books, but I wasn't giving enough time to my reading of it) I've decided to increase my amount of reading and spend more time in that activity. Right now I'm reading five books: Paul Tillich's Dynamics of Faith, Paul Muldoon's Moy Sand and Gravel, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings, Kafka's Short Story Collection by Norton, and The Courtier and the Heretic:Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World, by Matthew Stewart.

I'm making good progress and am really enjoying each of these books. Only one have I read before--The Lord Of the Rings (LOTR)--and, really, I threw it in for the pleasure of reading something just for fun.

Tillich's Dynamics is a wonderful read so far. I've always been drawn to Tillich's work, but never actually read anything of his the whole way through. So this is my challenge now. Patrik at God in a Shrinking Universe has been doing an awesome series of posts on Tillich and these have really peaked my desire to read more of him. I find Tillich a bit esoteric though and generally I have to read each chapter a few times before I 'get' it. This is more than likely because I lack a background in systematic theology--so I feel as if, at times, I'm sort of starting from scratch. Tillich begins with a discussion on what faith is. For Tillich, Faith is a "centered act"--"Faith is the state of being ultimately concerned."

Paul Muldoon is a master of the English language and Moy Sand and Gravel includes some his greatest poetry. I find him to be a fascinating person--even though I really don't think there is much comparison between Muldoon and Heaney (not b/c of talent--but there styles are very different). Because of his use of Irish names, his play with language, history and many other obscurities, it can be a little difficult to keep up with him in some of his longer poems.

With my back to the wall
and a foot in the door
and my shoulder to the wheel
I would drive through Seskinore.

With an ear to the ground

and my neck on the block I
would tend to my wound in
Belleek and Bellanaleck.

With a toe in the water
and a nose for trouble
and an eye to the future
I would drive through Derryfubble

and Dunnamanagh and Ballynascreen,
keeping that wound green.

The only Kafka I've read before this new collection of short stories is the Metamorphasis and that was in high school. I'm really enjoying these short stories and find Kafka a master of storytelling. Lot's of Freudian oddities going on throughout these stories--and all-in-all, I love reading them. I'm looking at these stories with a critical eye - trying to remember my Lacan and Freud.

The Courtier and the Heretic is a well written and rather easy to read book about two of the most important philosophers for the modern age. I didn't have much knowledge of the basic philosophy of either Spinoza or Leibniz, but the book does a great job of introducing the reader to the tenents of their philosophy while keeping a storyline going as well.

I'll be sharing more from my readings after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 20, 2006

LA Times - Michael Moore's Pledge

Michael Moore's pledge
Well worth the read.


Thursday after work I took the #2 train uptown from Penn Station to 96th street. I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone's small wrist tattoo "VERITAS". I started thinking about how much this little word, and the idea behind, drives us--makes us angry--and brings us closer to one another.

When Pontius Pilate questioned Jesus of Nazareth before his crucifixion he asked him "What is truth?" Pilate asked this existential question in reply to the assertion of Jesus that "Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." Well, who is on the side of truth, and for that matter, what is truth?

Grand ideas and schools of philosophy are driven by the search for truth--Existentialism has its pursuit of the meaning of existence and the value of the existing individual; different religions portray their own versions of truth; the media claims to put forth truth for the public; all types of literature involve this pursuit of truth, but really how does the quest for truth play out in our day-today lives?

We seek truth and generally find it comforting when we find it. Those people that we feel most open and comfortable with, those who we call our closest friends, are the people we actively live in truth with. And when there is some breach of this, these relationships are strained.

Within our own self, we seek truth as well. Our quest to be 'real' and 'useful' stems from this desire for truth. Most of us young post-postmodern people hope to make some sort of a difference in the world around us. We seek to see change--and I think this comes from our desire to see truth in our lives. We cannot square the lies of the corporate world, the government, churches with our own desire for truth.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006


Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Wild Swans at Coole - W.B. Yeats

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I had to do this.

Evangelicals and Israel.

The NY Times is doing a wonderful series on Israel--today's piece on the relationship between American evangelicals and the Israeli State. I've always understood this relationship as utterly ridiculous, and it seems that the more violent things get the more people like Hagee, Dobson, and Robertson become maniacal and stark raving mad.
I do not believe that we must maintain our close relationship with Israel--I think we should maintain our relationship with any marginalized people: including the Palestinians, the Israelis and the Iranians--and everyone else that fits that category. There is a problem with reading the Bible as a blueprint to the world: it leads to a sense of urgency about all the wrong things. People are starving in Africa, Americans and Europeans are apathetic in general, the environment has been forgotten, Russia is enchroaching (yet again) on civil rights, but here are the great leaders of the evangelical movement in America setting their sights on the end of the world. It all seems too easy: forget the present, live as a "chosen one" and strive to bring about Armageddon. There is something missing here.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Cultural Dark Ages.

The other day I was watching Faith & Reason with Bill Moyers. He was on the topic of myth and how it shapes who we are--with Jeanette Winterson as his guest. This quote was especially interesting to me and I think it should be important to anyone in the humanities. We all need this sense of urgency.

JEANETTE WINTERSON: It is a dark time. It may be that, in some ways, I think. I do think of it that we might be going into a cultural dark ages. And we might have to be like the great Abbeys of Cluny and Fontainebleau and simply keep the culture alive for the future. Because people will come along and they'll want it, and they'll need it.
BILL MOYERS: And will you keep writing because maybe one day somebody will read it.
BILL MOYERS: You never know for sure.
JEANETTE WINTERSON: You never know for sure. You never know. I may never know how long things will last. That's why you have to have the burning belief in the now and in the moment. And the thing is valid. And that it's worth doing. And it's worth doing with everything you've got, and for your whole life. You know, it can't be a hobby. It can't be a thought experiment. Much depends upon it.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

U2 "40"

Friday, November 10, 2006

Seamus Heaney

Mossbawn: Two Poems in Dedication

1. Sunlight

There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
water honeyed

in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall

of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled
over the bakeboard,
the reddening stove

sent its plaque of heat
against her where she stood
in a floury apron
by the window.

Now she dusts the board
with a goose's wing,
now sits, broad-lapped,
with whitened nails

and measling shins:
here is a space
again, the scone rising
to the tick of two clocks.

And here is love
like a tinsmith's scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.

2. The Seed Cutters

They seem hundreds of years away. Brueghel,
You'll know them if I can get them true.
They kneel under the hedge in a half-circle
Behind a windbreak wind is breaking through.
They are the seed cutters. The tuck and frill
Of leaf-sprout is on the seed potates
Buried under that straw. With time to kill,
They are taking their time. Each sharp knife goes
Lazily halving each root that falls apart
In the palm of the hand: a milky gleam,
And, at the centre, a dark watermark.
Oh, calendar customs! Under the broom
Yellowing over them, compose the frieze
With all of us there, our anonymities

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Great News!

Thoughts in the Presence of Fear - Wendell Berry

I. The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism that ended on that day.

II. This optimism rested on the proposition that we were living in a "new world order" and a "new economy" that would "grow" on and on, bringing a prosperity of which every new increment would be "unprecedented".

III. The dominant politicians, corporate officers, and investors who believed this proposition did not acknowledge that the prosperity was limited to a tiny percent of the world's people, and to an ever smaller number of people even in the United States; that it was founded upon the oppressive labor of poor people all over the world; and that its ecological costs increasingly threatened all life, including the lives of the supposedly prosperous.

IV. The "developed" nations had given to the "free market" the status of a god, and were sacrificing to it their farmers, farmlands, and communities, their forests, wetlands, and prairies, their ecosystems and watersheds. They had accepted universal pollution and global warming as normal costs of doing business.

V. There was, as a consequence, a growing worldwide effort on behalf of economic decentralization, economic justice, and ecological responsibility. We must recognize that the events of September 11 make this effort more necessary than ever. We citizens of the industrial countries must continue the labor of self-criticism and self-correction. We must recognize our mistakes.

VI. The paramount doctrine of the economic and technological euphoria of recent decades has been that everything depends on innovation. It was understood as desirable, and even necessary, that we should go on and on from one technological innovation to the next, which would cause the economy to "grow" and make everything better and better. This of course implied at every point a hatred of the past, of all things inherited and free. All things superseded in our progress of innovations, whatever their value might have been, were discounted as of no value at all.

VII. We did not anticipate anything like what has now happened. We did not foresee that all our sequence of innovations might be at once overridden by a greater one: the invention of a new kind of war that would turn our previous innovations against us, discovering and exploiting the debits and the dangers that we had ignored. We never considered the possibility that we might be trapped in the webwork of communication and transport that was supposed to make us free.

VIII. Nor did we foresee that the weaponry and the war science that we marketed and taught to the world would become available, not just to recognized national governments, which possess so uncannily the power to legitimate large-scale violence, but also to "rogue nations", dissident or fanatical groups and individuals - whose violence, though never worse than that of nations, is judged by the nations to be illegitimate.

IX. We had accepted uncritically the belief that technology is only good; that it cannot serve evil as well as good; that it cannot serve our enemies as well as ourselves; that it cannot be used to destroy what is good, including our homelands and our lives.

X. We had accepted too the corollary belief that an economy (either as a money economy or as a life-support system) that is global in extent, technologically complex, and centralized is invulnerable to terrorism, sabotage, or war, and that it is protectable by "national defense"

XI. We now have a clear, inescapable choice that we must make. We can continue to promote a global economic system of unlimited "free trade" among corporations, held together by long and highly vulnerable lines of communication and supply, but now recognizing that such a system will have to be protected by a hugely expensive police force that will be worldwide, whether maintained by one nation or several or all, and that such a police force will be effective precisely to the extent that it oversways the freedom and privacy of the citizens of every nation.

XII. Or we can promote a decentralized world economy which would have the aim of assuring to every nation and region a local self-sufficiency in life-supporting goods. This would not eliminate international trade, but it would tend toward a trade in surpluses after local needs had been met.

XIII. One of the gravest dangers to us now, second only to further terrorist attacks against our people, is that we will attempt to go on as before with the corporate program of global "free trade", whatever the cost in freedom and civil rights, without self-questioning or self-criticism or public debate.

XIV. This is why the substitution of rhetoric for thought, always a temptation in a national crisis, must be resisted by officials and citizens alike. It is hard for ordinary citizens to know what is actually happening in Washington in a time of such great trouble; for all we know, serious and difficult thought may be taking place there. But the talk that we are hearing from politicians, bureaucrats, and commentators has so far tended to reduce the complex problems now facing us to issues of unity, security, normality, and retaliation.

XV. National self-righteousness, like personal self-righteousness, is a mistake. It is misleading. It is a sign of weakness. Any war that we may make now against terrorism will come as a new installment in a history of war in which we have fully participated. We are not innocent of making war against civilian populations. The modern doctrine of such warfare was set forth and enacted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, who held that a civilian population could be declared guilty and rightly subjected to military punishment. We have never repudiated that doctrine.

XVI. It is a mistake also - as events since September 11 have shown - to suppose that a government can promote and participate in a global economy and at the same time act exclusively in its own interest by abrogating its international treaties and standing apart from international cooperation on moral issues.

XVII. And surely, in our country, under our Constitution, it is a fundamental error to suppose that any crisis or emergency can justify any form of political oppression. Since September 11, far too many public voices have presumed to "speak for us" in saying that Americans will gladly accept a reduction of freedom in exchange for greater "security". Some would, maybe. But some others would accept a reduction in security (and in global trade) far more willingly than they would accept any abridgement of our Constitutional rights.

XVIII. In a time such as this, when we have been seriously and most cruelly hurt by those who hate us, and when we must consider ourselves to be gravely threatened by those same people, it is hard to speak of the ways of peace and to remember that Christ enjoined us to love our enemies, but this is no less necessary for being difficult.

XIX. Even now we dare not forget that since the attack of Pearl Harbor - to which the present attack has been often and not usefully compared - we humans have suffered an almost uninterrupted sequence of wars, none of which has brought peace or made us more peaceable.

XX. The aim and result of war necessarily is not peace but victory, and any victory won by violence necessarily justifies the violence that won it and leads to further violence. If we are serious about innovation, must we not conclude that we need something new to replace our perpetual "war to end war?"

XXI. What leads to peace is not violence but peaceableness, which is not passivity, but an alert, informed, practiced, and active state of being. We should recognize that while we have extravagantly subsidized the means of war, we have almost totally neglected the ways of peaceableness. We have, for example, several national military academies, but not one peace academy. We have ignored the teachings and the examples of Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and other peaceable leaders. And here we have an inescapable duty to notice also that war is profitable, whereas the means of peaceableness, being cheap or free, make no money.

XXII. The key to peaceableness is continuous practice. It is wrong to suppose that we can exploit and impoverish the poorer countries, while arming them and instructing them in the newest means of war, and then reasonably expect them to be peaceable.

XXIII. We must not again allow public emotion or the public media to caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some nations of Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies. Our schools should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts, and language of the Islamic nations. And our leaders should have the humility and the wisdom to ask the reasons some of those people have for hating us.

XXIV. Starting with the economies of food and farming, we should promote at home, and encourage abroad, the ideal of local self-sufficiency. We should recognize that this is the surest, the safest, and the cheapest way for the world to live. We should not countenance the loss or destruction of any local capacity to produce necessary goods

XXV. We should reconsider and renew and extend our efforts to protect the natural foundations of the human economy: soil, water, and air. We should protect every intact ecosystem and watershed that we have left, and begin restoration of those that have been damaged.

XXVI. The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never before that we need to change our present concept of education. Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. It's proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or "accessing" what we now call "information" - which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.

XXVII. The first thing we must begin to teach our children (and learn ourselves) is that we cannot spend and consume endlessly. We have got to learn to save and conserve. We do need a "new economy", but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.

The election.

Well last night went well here in the United States. The Democrats won the House and if Montana and Virginia go there way they'll have the Senate too. This is good news, but not all that surprising. More important though is what the Democrats will do when they take over. Will there be a major policy shift? Will we begin withdrawing from Iraq and step back from other confrontations around the globe? Will Darfur and the many other humanitarian issue become more important? Are environmental issues going to be made of the utmost importance? And there are many other questions that will be answered when the Dems take there new positions. I hope things do change here, and I feel that they might. There is a real potential for good things to start to happen. The NYTimes has a nice guide here for anyone interested in the outcomes of last evening on a state to state basis.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For the 3,060 of them. "Losses" -- Randall Jarrell

It was not dying: everybody died.
It was not dying: we had died before
In the routine crashes-- and our fields
Called up the papers, wrote home to our folks,
And the rates rose, all because of us.
We died on the wrong page of the almanac,
Scattered on mountains fifty miles away;
Diving on haystacks, fighting with a friend,
We blazed up on the lines we never saw.
We died like aunts or pets or foreigners.
(When we left high school nothing else had died
For us to figure we had died like.)

In our new planes, with our new crews, we bombed
The ranges by the desert or the shore,
Fired at towed targets, waited for our scores--
And turned into replacements and worke up
One morning, over England, operational.

It wasn't different: but if we died
It was not an accident but a mistake
(But an easy one for anyone to make.)
We read our mail and counted up our missions--
In bombers named for girls, we burned
The cities we had learned about in school--
Till our lives wore out; our bodies lay among
The people we had killed and never seen.
When we lasted long enough they gave us medals;
When we died they said, "Our casualties were low."

The said, "Here are the maps"; we burned the cities.

It was not dying --no, not ever dying;
But the night I died I dreamed that I was dead,
And the cities said to me: "Why are you dying?
We are satisfied, if you are; but why did I die?"

New York. Yeah.